Book Review: Just the Essentials - How Essential Oils Can Heal... by Adina Grigore

Title:  Just the Essentials
Author: Adina Grigore
Publisher: Harper Wave, Imprint of HarperCollins Publisher
Release Date:  March 7, 2017
Genre: Non-Fiction / Healthy Living

The author of Skin Cleanse returns with a comprehensive guide to the ultimate ingredient for living an all-natural, plant-based lifestyle: essential oils.

For millennia, essential oils have played a key role in health and beauty rituals. From references in the Bible (frankincense and myrrh) to Hippocrates (who documented the effects of oils from over 300 plants) to Ancient Egypt (Cleopatra pioneered the use of fragrance), essential oils have been revered throughout human history for their healing powers and their unparalleled scent.

But in modern times, they’ve often been misunderstood, underappreciated, even cast as "dangerous"—and relegated to the dusty shelves of health food stores. That is, until recently. Today they’re back in the spotlight as increasing numbers of consumers are looking for all-natural alternatives to skincare products and opting for fragrance-free detergents and soaps, natural remedies for common ailments, and toxin-free home cleaning solutions.

Enter Adina Grigore, owner and founder of the wildly popular all-natural skincare line SW Basics. A former essential oil skeptic, Grigore learned everything she could about these potent plant-based compounds when she began formulating her products. And what she learned was that essential oils are some of the most powerful, healing, health-promoting compounds found in nature. That, and they smell pretty great too.

In Just the Essentials, Grigore offers a 21st-century guide to these ancient oils, offering a fresh, fun, and authoritative overview of what they are and how they can be easily incorporated into anyone’s life. From plant-based medicine to all-natural skincare to safer and cleaner household products to aromatherapy, this handy and entertaining guide provides detailed advice for a wide array of oils, safety guidelines, and a range of do-it-yourself recipes to get started. Inside you'll discover such fun facts as:
  • Tea tree oil is a powerful antibacterial that is proven to be as effective for treating acne as benzoyl peroxide; it also kills oral bacteria and is a life-saver for tooth infections.
  • Cinnamon oil is a circulation-booster that helps to ease everyday aches and pains as well as headaches (even migraines).
  • Peppermint oil is brimming with antimicrobial properties; peppermint oil can be used for everything from alleviating digestive problems to cleaning your kitchen counters.
With lists of the best oils for beginners; instructions for diffusing and safe handling; and DIY recipes from dish soap to toothpaste to facial masks, Just the Essentials makes it easy and enjoyable to reap the many benefits of these pure plant extracts.

I've been interested in essential oils since I've read a bit (passing comments) about it in other books or magazines. I've had other friends that have just recently gotten into it. So I'm naturally curious as to what essential oils are and how can it provide "improvements" in a variety of areas in your life. Just the Essentials by Adina Grigore is a great start for any newbie like me. Honestly, I know nothing about it, except what I've heard or read in passing. With a simple introduction, a history lesson and the commercial use of essential oils in our every day products, this was a great start.

Just the Essentials is not only for newbies, I think it would be beneficial to experience users as well, since it includes a breakdown of the types of oils and which oil for what uses. Also, there is a section for DIYers to play with, recipes that harness the use of essential oils and for different types of ailments, skin conditions or home aids. There's even a little tidbit of what is harmful, such as for expectant mothers.  Personally, I think the "Beginners' Top Ten" section was the one I looked into more. Great for beginners to play with or consider making our own products.  In all, a fairly comprehensive book in just about 193 pages (might change, since it is an advance reader's copy that I've read for this review), and a book I know I'll refer to, at lease the uses of each type of oil.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Photo by Liz Andrien
Adina Grigore is the founder and CEO of the all-natural, sustainable skin-care line S.W. Basics, which she started out of her kitchen in 2011. A graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Adina has worked in the wellness industry since 2007 as a private holistic nutritionist, a personal trainer, and a workshop coordinator teaching people about the DIY nature of wellness. S.W. Basics products are now sold internationally and have been featured in Vogue, O Magazine, W Magazine, the New York Times, InStyle, Real Simple, and Martha Stewart Living, among others.


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  1. Great review, Annie! I have several friends who use oils. This sounds like a great resource.

  2. I've dabbled a bit with essential oils but I don't know much about any particular oil. This sounds like a great resource!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!


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